Chasing the King of the Mountains

Chasing the King of the Mountains

Chasing the King of the Mountains is about two friends who finally get a chance to fall in love during the grueling Tour de France. Pascal has a chance to win the coveted polka-dot jersey as King of the Mountains. Laurent is one of France’s top international reporters and Pascal’s best friend. He travels with Pascal during his last Tour.

How did your collaboration come about?

T.A.: Devon and I met in New Orleans during the GayRomLit Retreat in 2011, and became friends. Then we roomed together for the 2012 GRL retreat, and got chatting about sports. We decided to take our readers on a world tour, and introduce them to sports they might not know much about. Cricket, cycling, and rugby are just three of the six we picked for the series.

Once we chose the countries and the sports, we got to writing.

Devon: Yes, poor T.A. There we were, lying in bed brainstorming, and I jumped up, grabbed a sheet of hotel stationery and started making notes. That continued all through the conference, even on a napkin at one point. When I got home, I typed them all up, shared the doc with T.A. and off we went.

How does the dual author process work for you both?

T.A.:  We each pick a character to write, then whoever gets an idea of how to start the story can begin it. As we go along, we take turns writing scenes in our character’s point of view. Of course, we each throw in twists or secondary characters that the other has to deal with…

Devon: Sorry about that! I’m probably guiltier than T.A. on that count, but then again, she’s thrown a few challenges out to me too! Seriously, though, we write in a shared online document, so we can each watch the other do real-time additions and changes, or come back online later and see what they’ve accomplished. My favourite part is when we write dialogue together. I’ll type my character’s line, and she’ll respond with her character. The conversation takes some really interesting turns that way, just like in real life!

What is the best and worst thing about having two authors on a project?

T.A.: The best thing is having another person to bounce ideas off of. When I get stuck in a scene, I can talk to Devon and she helps work out the problem. Also, having another person writing with me can take a story in a direction that I never even thought possible.

The worst thing isn’t really bad, but we live on opposite sides of the country from each other, so our time zones are a little different. There are times when I need to bounce an idea off Devon before I can go on with the scene, but she’s sleeping. I end up having to wait until she’s up and ready to wait. Like I said, it really wasn’t bad.

Devon, you started reading and writing at an early age, so what were your earliest attempts like and who did you most like to read?

Devon: I kept various journals (most of them lost along the way, unfortunately) from as far back as I can remember. My grandmother actually has some of my pre-school aged letters to her that she showed to me recently…I was writing full-on, detailed letters at age three, according to the postmarks!

My first fiction writing starting in my college years was genre/serial romance of the sort my mother read (and so did I when I could snag them from her bedside). I had dreams of writing books and seeing my name on the cover. Real life hit pause on my writing for about fifteen years after I graduated college.

Looking back, my favourite stories tended to run in series, from Nancy Drew and Little House books to the romance years of Iris Johansen and Kay Hooper onward. No surprise that I like to write series now!

You have entered late into fiction, so at what point did you decide to change course?

Devon:  It wasn’t until I had a ‘break’ from the working world to be a stay-at-home mom that I had time to revisit writing. At first it was for the creative outlet—a bit of escapism from the day-to-day—and after I had some immediate success getting published, I turned it into a career.

This is book two in the International Men of Sports Series, so what can you tell us about the first installment?

T.A.: The first book in the International Men of Sports Series is titled A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood, and it’s set in India. There aren’t many stories about cricket, and we wanted to focus on the sport in a country that played it. Both of our characters are Indian. Ajay is a professional cricketer, and his hero, Raj, is a Bollywood actor.

Do you plan to collaborate for another, if so what can you tell us about it?

T.A.: Actually there will be at least six in the series. At First Touch, book three, is about football and takes place in Germany. Book four takes place in Australia, and features a rugby player and a lifeguard. Then we have curling and hockey in book five. The last book, so far, is about a professional beach volleyball player who meets his love interest at Carnivale in Rio, Brazil.

Devon: We also have some pesky secondary characters from our books who are demanding their own stories, so it’s very likely we’ll continue beyond the originally planned six books.

To what extent do you think that you might have set a trend of dual author erotic fiction?

T.A.: I’m not sure if we set a trend or not, because there are quite a few other co-authored books out there. But I’d like to think that the books we write might make other authors consider trying it. It’s a lot of fun to work with someone else, especially when you get on the same wavelength and the story just flows.

Devon: I’m definitely touting our positive experience to others who ask about it, but I also know I was extremely lucky to find a partner whose style and voice mesh well with mine.

What is next for each of you?

T.A.: My next story comes out in August in the Unconventional in Atlanta anthology. It’s titled His Last Client, and is about a bartender who also works as a male escort on the side when he needs extra cash to pay his bills. Then he does a favor for one of his regulars, and meets a man he can fall in love with.

Devon: I’m also in the Unconventional anthology with T.A. It’s the second one we’ve done with the same authors, and it’s also, in a sense, a collaboration between us, as well as the other four authors. What I love about the anthology is that all six of us use the others’ characters in our stories. Each of us tells the story of at least one employee at the same hotel during the same time period. My book, titled Out Of Service, is about the front desk manager, who sets aside his usual professional distance when a guest needs help, and finds himself bending the rules in some very interesting ways.

You can get your copy of Chasing the King of the Mountains from Total-E-Bound Publishing today!

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